Mobile App Roundup: Google, Big Business, Startups & More
RIM Reports a Decline in Q2 Revenue — Research In Motion has reported a decline in second quarter revenue due primarily to a poor performance of the BlackBerry PlayBook. RIM states $4.2 billion in revenue, a 10 percent drop from $4.6 billion. In terms of PlayBook, only 200,000 units were shipped. The net income was $329 million, a 59 percent drop from the $797 million of last year.
Google Possibly Working on Digital Magazine App — According to tech personality Robert Scoble, a source “working with Google” has noted that the company may be working on a competitor to the popular digital magazine app, Flipboard. Additionally, All Things D says that numerous sources are saying similar things and are dubbing the product “Propeller.”
Google Buys Over 1,000 Patents to Protect Android — Google has purchased 1,023 patents from IBM in order to protect Android from potential lawsuits, reports Bloomberg. The reports from the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office note the acquisitions occurring on August 17th, and according to Google, are designed to counter “hostile, organized campaign[s]” from companies such as Apple and Microsoft. In addition to these new patents, Google also acquired 1,030 from IBM in July and will gain 17,000 more with its acquisition of Motorola Mobility Holdings.
Sony Releases SDK for PlayStation Vita — Sony released an SDK for developers looking to create games on PlayStation-certified devices. The SDK will support the programming language of C# and will work on devices such as the PlayStation Vita and Sony Tablet.
Foursquare Releases Push Notifications API — Location-based Foursquare has released two new beta version push notification APIs, User Push API and Venue Push API. The former allows for third-party apps to opt in to receive notifications when authenticated users check in, while the latter allows for notifications when there is a check-in to a venue run by a third-party app’s user.
Gowalla Announces Guides — Gowalla has shown off the latest version of its app: Guides. Upon checking in, users can view information regarding that particular location or contribute to the guide themselves. The more users check in, the more information they can view.
Buy Mobile App Features With Verious — Launched at the TechCrunch Disrupt, Verious is an interesting new online marketplace in which users can search for and buy pre-built mobile application components (e.g. a color picker, a slideshow component, or translation services).
Red Robot Labs Raises $8.5 Million — Location-based mobile games developer Red Robot Labs has announced $8.5 million in funding from Benchmark Capital and Shasta Ventures. Its first game, Life is Crime, launched on Android a few weeks ago.
MeLLmo Raises $30 Million — MeLLmo, a mobile business applications developer, has raised a round of funding this week worth $30 million from Sequoia Capital. Moreover, Sequoia Capital partner, Greg McAdoo, will join MeLLmo’s board of directors.
GameStop to Create Gaming Tablet — Game retailer GameStop has announced that it has plans to launch its very own branded gaming tablet. According to GamesIndustry.biz, the tablet will make use of the Android OS.
Verizon Relaunches Android App Store — Through the help of Chomp, Verizon Wireless is relaunching its Android app store, Verizon Apps, reports VentureBeat. Using Chomp’s app search engine, users will be able to search for new apps based on type.
Unity Wins Best Development Environment Award — Unity Technologies has announced that its Unity game development platform has won the award for “Best Development Environment” at this year’s CEDEC (Computer Entertainment Developers Conference) in Japan.
[Legal] Samsung Files Apple Complaint in France — In the global Apple vs. Samsung patent war, Samsung has filed a complaint against Apple in Paris. The complaint states that Apple has violated three of its technology patents regarding a Universal Mobile Telecommunications System (UMTS).
[Legal] AT&T and T-Mobile Merger Goes to the President — 15 Congressional members are asking President Obama to settle the matter. In a letter written by Heath Shuler, they coax the President to approve the merger as it will, as reported by TechCrunch, expand high-speed wireless networks, generate new jobs, and boost the country’s GDP.
Demo Conference Mobile Highlights — The VentureBeat-affiliated conference of Demo, which acts like a showcase for new emerging technologies and companies’ products, occured earlier this week. At Demo several new mobile technologies and applications were featured. Below are some of the highlights detailed on the tech blog.
- Open Mobile App Directory — OMAD grants users with a means to find applications, from one site, from several app stores, including iOS, Android, and BlackBerry. It also states that it has “greater community participation.”
- Text Message Weight Loss Motivation — SMS startup Poosh has launched a new text message mobile service that will help motive users to exercise by sending text messages one to three times a day from “elite athletes.”
- Coaxing Kids to Read — MeMe Tales is a new mobile reading application for kids that will grant more than digital stories, but the ability to play reading-related games or publish their own stories.
- Easy Mobile Prototypes — Web-based FieldTest is a concept that allows users to take any image and assign interactions to create a functioning mobile app perfect for prototype presentations, pitches, demos, or testing.
- More Social Group Messaging — SmartDonuts is a new group messaging app from Inscos that allows users to more securely chat with groups of friends as well as join other groups based on their interests.
- Voice-to-Text Messaging — Qwip is a startup that offers and app of the same name that allows users to record short messages and converts them to text that can be used on Qwip, in private messages, or social feeds.
- New Social & Mobile Golfing App — Teepsy is a new Facebook and mobile app that allows users to brag about their golf game. Additionally, it lets users sign up for discounted tee times at certain golf courses. Players can earn badges for their golf accomplishments and track their scores.
- Build Tablet Websites — A startup out of Brooklyn, ClrTouch, displayed that lets users create a tablet-based website directly from their tablet.
- Power Robots With Smartphones — One interesting demo came from OLogic and its Automated Music Personality (AMP). The robot follows users around and will play music from one’s smartphone or MP3 player. It also comes with a iOS or Android app that lets users control it.
- Earn Discounts With Gimmie — Gimmie is another new startup and its product allows users to use their mobile phones to scan QR codes for things like rebates, coupons, and so on to receive a discount instantly.
[image via VentureBeat]
Angry Birds Hits New Milestone — Rovio Mobile’s game Angry Birds has reached a new milestone today as general manager Andrew Stalbow announced the game has been downloaded 350 million times and sees 300 million minutes of play a day.
PETA Sends Letter to TinyCo — TinyCo, the mobile developer behind Tiny Zoo received a letter from PETA coaxing them to make their next version of the game about rescued animals in sanctuaries rather than in cages. They state that the concept of confining animals within small enclosures is cruel and sends the wrong message to young players.
[Launch] Itsmy Games Launches Games for Web — Mobile and social games developer, itsmy Games, has announced that it has launched its catalogue of over 100 free-to-play titles as mobile web apps. Each game makes use of HTML5 and can be played partly offline.
[Launch] Backflip Studios Releases iOS Game DragonVale — Backflip Studios has released its newest free-to-play game, DragonVale in the U.S. The game is social game in which players manage a virtual space to raise and care for baby dragons.
[Launch] Pocket Gems Releases Tap Zoo on Android — Mobile games developer Pocket Gems has announced the launch of free-to-play game Tap Zoo for Android-based smartphones and tablets. The release also marks the one-year anniversary of the top grossing game on iOS within which it has spent 48 weeks in the top ten.
[Launch] Aviary Releases Photo Editing SDK — Aviary is a media editing company that has released a new SDK this week that allows developers to add photo editing features into any iOS or Android application.
[Launch] Translating Mobile Apps — TechCrunch came across an interesting new mobile app platform from Tethras. The platform is intended to help developers translate and localize their iOS and Android apps for a multitude of different languages.
[Rumor] iPhone 5 Launching October 15th — Stéphane Richard, CEO of France Telecom has stated that “the iPhone 5 will be released on 15 October,” reports TechCrunch.